FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 10, 2008



HOWLIN’ WOLF’S ROCKIN’ THE BLUES: LIVE IN GERMANY 1964 TO BE RELEASED IN THE U.S. BY ACROBAT MUSIC

November 1964 American Folk Blues tour concert featured musicians Sunnyland Slim, Hubert Sumlin, Willie Dixon and Clifton James

NEW YORK, N.Y. — In the pantheon of blues, Howlin’ Wolf was in a category of his own. At 6’3” and 275 pounds, he had a voice that resonated with menace — not every bluesman could make a song like “I Asked Her for Water (She Brought Me Gasoline)” convincing. The Blues Foundation Hall of Fame and Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee made several classic recordings for the Sun, RPM, Crown and Chess labels in the ‘50s and ‘60s. The soon-to-be-released Rockin’ the Blues: Live in Germany 1964, due out in the U.S. on November 11 on the Acrobat Music label, captures the Wolf in his prime, when he was surrounded by a dream team of Chicago blues all-stars: long-time guitarist Hubert Sumlin; songwriter/producer Willie Dixon on bass; Sunnyland Slim, piano; and Clifton James, drums.

Howlin’ Wolf was renowned for his ability to rock the house down, and this November 6, 1964 Bremen, Germany concert recording confirms that with a mixture of self-penned songs, Willie Dixon compositions and covers: “Shake It for Me,” “Love Me,” “I Didn’t Mean To Hurt Your Feelings,” “Rockin’ the Blues,” “All My Life,” “Howlin’ for My Darling,” “Forty Four, ” St. Louis Jimmy’s “Going Down Slow” and Elmore James’ “Dust My Broom.”

Howlin’ Wolf, born in West Point, Miss., and named Chester Arthur Burnett after the 21st president of the U.S., followed in his father’s footsteps, becoming a farmer, but a chance meeting with Delta blues patriarch Charley Patton changed this. Wolf’s inimitable voice and entertaining prowess were inspired by Patton, and his rhythmic style on harmonica was influenced by Rice (Sonny Boy Williamson) Miller. Sam Phillips of Sun Records was the first to record Howlin’ Wolf and leased the tracks to the Bihari brothers in Los Angeles, who released them on RPM and Crown, and to the Chess brothers in Chicago, where he achieved stardom. Despite hits on the R&B charts, it was not until Wolf combined with Chess staff writer Willie Dixon (featured on this live recording) that record sales began to blossom.

The Rolling Stones reached No. 1 with their cover of Howlin’ Wolf’s “Little Red Rooster,” and they showed additional respect when they insisted he appear on the music TV show “Shindig,” where he proceeded to mystify and possibly frighten a generation of American teenagers. Interest in his music spread throughout Europe, and in October/November, 1964, Wolf joined fellow artists Sonny Boy Williamson, Lightnin’ Hopkins and Sugar Pie DeSanto on the third American Folk Blues Festival tour. It was there that he made the recordings that constitute Acrobat Music’s Rockin’ The Blues: Live in Germany, 1964.

As guitarist Sumlin, the lone survivor from these sessions, recalls of his European reception, “The people, they knew Wolf. I think that this guy put his heart out over there, I know he did.”

Howlin’ Wolf’s renown in the rock community grew in the later ‘60s and early ‘70s. But as the ‘70s progressed, Wolf became increasingly ill. He died in Chicago on January 10, 1976. A life-size statute was erected in Chicago and a child education center in Chicago was named in his honor. His face even appeared on a U.S. postage stamp.

The audience in Bremen, Germany got to see some of that Howlin’ Wolf power up close. Forty-four years later, he performance will be made available to American music consumers on November 11th. One thing’s for sure: They don’t make ‘em like Howlin’ Wolf no more.

Acrobat is a UK-based record label specializing in collectors’ and reissue CDs across just about every genre of music. In 2007, Acrobat Music Group purchased the Kruger Organisation catalog, a library of more than 22,000 original tracks by Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis, Billie Holiday and Nina Simone, among scores of others. Launching its U.S. label out of New York this October 21, Acrobat will establish its presence as a premier independent reissue label in the U.S. through its distribution with TVT Distribution.

The U.S. label debut features 15 reissues that offer high quality, historical significance and excellent value. The first set of releases includes jazz/big band, blues, country, R&B, doo-wop and rock. All the Premier Collection titles are showcased in “deluxe packaging,” with o-cards, extensive liner notes and either a large number of tracks or lengthy play time.



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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 10, 2008



IKE & TINA TURNER’S BLUE THUMB RECORDS YEARS COLLECTED AS IKE & TINA TURNER SING THE BLUES, DUE FOR RELEASE ON ACROBAT MUSIC

Album contains the hit “Bold Soul Sister” as well as live standards “The Hunter” and “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long”

NEW YORK, N.Y. — Although Ike Turner is often credited with recording the first rock ‘n’ roll song with 1951’s “Rocket 88,” his career took a leap when he met Anna Mae Bullock and re-named her Tina Turner. Their first collaboration was “A Fool in Love,” released in 1960 on Sue Records, and the two later hooked up with producer Phil Spector, resulting in the 1966 wall-of-sound smash “River Deep Mountain High.” 1969 found Ike and Tina returning to their blues roots with a pair of albums that Ike leased to Bob Krasnow’s Blue Thumb Records — The Hunter and Outta Season. The two albums will be combined to form an 18-song single-CD reissue titled Ike & Tina Turner Sing the Blues as part of Acrobat Music’s Premier Collection. Street date for the collection is October 21.

The Hunter and Outta Season were recorded when Ike, fed up with pressures from the labels such as Sue to create new product every year, launched his own Pompeii label, proceeding to release recordings by the Ikettes as well as by himself and Tina. The albums he leased to Blue Thumb in ’69 were along the last independent projects Ike would undertake before signing to United Artists, where he and Tina recorded “Proud Mary” and several key long-players.

Both Blue Thumb albums were blues-oriented, and showcased Ike’s superlative guitar work — which had taken a back seat during the early Ike & Tina years — as well as Tina’s stunning vocals. The songs were largely blues standards but there were a couple of original numbers. “Bold Soul Sister,” for instance, was a very un-bluesy track and was a sizeable hit for the duo, as were Tina’s interpretations of Albert King’s “The Hunter” (equally well known for the version cut by the British band Free) and her testifying version of Otis Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,” a standard in the Ike & Tina Revue’s live ‘70s shows.

The reissue also contains such songs as T-Bone Walker’s “Mean Old World,” Eddie Boyd’s “Five Long Years,” Robert Johnson’s “Dust My Broom,” Little Walter’s “Crazy About You Baby,” Lowell Fulson’s “Reconsider Baby,” Jimmy Reed’s “You Got Me Running,” Bobby Blue Bland’s “Early in the Morning,” Chuck Willis’ “You’re Still My Baby” and Barbara George’s “I Know,” among others.

The subsequent global success of Tina Turner in the ‘80s and ‘90s is well documented, and she remains one of the enduring stars of the soul and pop scenes. Ike Turner’s contribution to the development of blues and rock has been sadly underrated due in part to the revelations about his relationship with Tina, but this situation has changed somewhat since his death in December 2007. His influence as a discoverer and developer of talent was considerable, and his own qualities as a performer are admirably showcased in this collection.

Acrobat is a UK-based record label specializing in collectors’ and reissue CDs across just about every genre of music. In 2007, Acrobat Music Group purchased the Kruger Organisation catalog, a library of more than 22,000 original tracks by Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis, Billie Holiday and Nina Simone, among scores of others. Launching its U.S. label out of New York this October 21, Acrobat will establish its presence as a premier independent reissue label in the U.S. through its distribution with TVT Distribution.

The U.S. label debut features 15 reissues that offer high quality, historical significance and excellent value. The first set of releases includes jazz/big band, blues, country, R&B, doo-wop and rock. All the Premier Collection titles are showcased in “deluxe packaging,” with o-cards, extensive liner notes and either a large number of tracks or lengthy play time.




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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 8, 2008



B.B. KING AND HIS ORCHESTRA LIVE ALBUM TO BE REISSUED IN U.S. AS PART OF ACROBAT MUSIC’S “PREMIER COLLECTION”

Concert, recorded at MIDEM in 1983, features King’s classic songs

NEW YORK, N.Y. — As part of Acrobat Music’s U.S. label launch, B.B. King’s B.B. King & His Orchestra Live will be released October 21, 2008, marking the recording’s first availability in the U.S. The album was recorded in January 1983 in Cannes during the international music industry gathering known as MIDEM. The concert, sponsored by Kool, was held at the Palais des Congres, where King shared the stage with Dave Brubeck Quartet and Pat Matheny.

B.B. King & His Orchestra Live presents many of King’s hits and standards recorded under the band directorship of Calvin Owens. King and famous guitar Lucille and the band were in top form on such hits as “Why I Sing the Blues,” “The Thrill is Gone,” “Everyday I Have the Blues,” “Sweet Little Angel,” and a world-class reading of Louis Jordan’s “Caldonia.”

The collection features liner notes by British music historian Neil Slaven, who says, “Instead of chitlin’ circuit gigs that paid the rent and touring bills, King was elevated to concert stages on the U.S. and Europe and ultimately, around the world. Since then, apart from winning a string of music awards including Grammys and Handys, he’s been awarded Doctorates, Lifetime Achievement Awards, Humanitarian Awards and has played at the White House for two presidents.”

Slaven quotes King biographer Charles Sawyer as observing, “His penetration into the mainstream has given blues a distinct place and a clearly defined identity as a result of his success,” adding, “Amen to that.”

Acrobat is a UK-based record label specializing in collectors’ and reissue CDs across just about every genre of music. In 2007, Acrobat Music Group purchased the Kruger Organisation catalog, a library of more than 22,000 original tracks by Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis, Billie Holiday and Nina Simone, among scores of others. Launching its U.S. label out of New York this October 21, Acrobat will establish its presence as a premier independent reissue label in the U.S. through its distribution with TVT Distribution.

The U.S. label debut features 15 reissues that offer high quality, historical significance and excellent value. The first set of releases includes jazz/big band, blues, country, R&B, doo-wop and rock. All the Premier Collection titles are showcased in “deluxe packaging,” with o-cards, extensive liner notes and either a large number of tracks or lengthy play time.


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